Full Guide: How to Install SSD in Laptop without Reinstalling Windows

Want to install SSD in laptop to enhance its performance, but don't want spare extra time to perform a clean install? Here we will tell you how to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows 10/8/7 step by step.


By Emily / Updated on June 7, 2024

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Why install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows?

When building your computer, it is hard to make a choice between a solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD). Hard disk drives are much cheaper and more common, but they have internal moving parts, so they are more prone to damage. Moreover, HDDs tend to be slower in data reading and writing speed.By contrast, SSD drives are more durable because they have no moving parts. On the other hand, they load everything much faster than HDD (more differences between HDD and SSD can be found in the following table).


Therefore, many users plan to replace HDD with SSD in laptop to make OS boot and run much faster. To install OS on SSD, you can remove the old hard drive, install the SSD drive into your laptop, then reinstall everything. But it is time-consuming. What’s worse, the things will become more complicated when you don’t have the Windows installation DVD or the Windows license and software activation keys are lost. So, you might ask: how to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows?

Steps to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling OS

To install SSD for replacing the old hard drive without reinstalling OS and other applications, you need to first transfer all data from HDD to the target solid-state drive, then remove the old HDD and install SSD into laptop to make it boot from the destination disk. The whole process can be divided into the following three steps:

Step 1. Transfer laptop Windows to SSD drive

To move Windows from HDD to SSD drive is not as simple as dragging and dropping, which will make boot files become invalid and not work afterward. This special task requires a professional disk cloning software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It can transfer everything including Windows OS on your existing disk to another one by cloning a hard drive. Moreover, the destination hard disk is bootable after the clone. Below is how to clone HDD to SSD in detail.

Preparation work:
Connect the destination SSD drive to your laptop and make sure it is detected successfully. If your laptop has only one drive slot, you will need a SATA to USB adapter.
Move large applications that you do not want to keep on SSD: if your destination SSD drive is smaller than the current HDD, you can move larger folders to an external drive to reduce used space for cloning to the smaller SSD.
Make a full backup of your system: to avoid some unexpected accidents such as sudden power failure occurs during the cloning process, it is wise to make a system backup.
Back up everything required on the SSD drive because the cloning process will erase all the data on the destination disk.
The AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional comes with a Demo Version, so you can download it and have a try first.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click "Clone" in the main interface, and select "Clone Disk".


Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".


Step 3. Select another drive as the destination disk, and then click "Next".


Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to "Sector to Sector clone", and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.


Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of the SSD. 


Step 6. You can preview the disk cloning operation by viewing the "Pending Operations". To commit the "Pending Operations", please click "Apply" and "Proceed".


★★★★★If you just want to transfer OS partition to SSD, you can try its “Migrate OS to SSD” wizard.

Migrate Os To Ssd


Step 2. Install SSD drive to laptop

Once cloning is accomplished, all data on the original disk has been migrated to the SSD drive. Now, please take below steps to install the SSD drive into your laptop to replace the old hard drive.

2.1. Turn off your laptop; disconnect SSD drive, power cable and other connected cables. Place your laptop upside-down.

2.2. You should see a plastic cut-out panel in the bottom which is covered by several screws. Now remove them using a screwdriver. If your laptop has no cut-out, you need to take the entire bottom off to get access to your old hard drive.

2.3. Unscrew all screws that are used to secure your HDD to your laptop.

2.4. Lift the old drive up about 30 or 45 degrees and pull it out.

2.5. Now, you can install the SSD by doing the reverse of uninstalling the HDD. Please slide the solid-state drive in at an angle and push it correctly into place.

Install Ssd

2.6. Then secure it with the screws you removed before. At last, screw the back panel covering the drive back on.

Step 3. Boot laptop from SSD drive

Now, you can enter BIOS environment to change boot order to make laptop boot from SSD drive.

3.1. Reboot the laptop and long press ESC, F1,F2, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen. Then Boot menu will appear.

3.2. Use the arrow keys to access to the Boot tab. System devices will appear in order of priority.

3.3. To give the cloned SSD drive boot sequence priority over the hard drive, just move it to the first position in the list.

3.4. Save and exit the BIOS setup utility. And your laptop will restart with the changed settings.

If the cloned SSD won’t boot, you can check whether the boot mode (BIOS or UEFI) is proper, and the system files are complete.


This is how to install SSD in laptop without reinstalling Windows 10/8/7 step by step. Replacing laptop HDD with SSD drive is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to speed up computer.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional also provides great solutions to manage your disk partition. For example, you can quickly partition a hard drive within two steps, allocate free space from one partition to another, convert system disk from MBR to GPT, GPT to MBR without losing data and so on. To install SSD to replace HDD in Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.